Commercial Work

Team Update!

Hello everyone! We've been on a little hiatus from our wedding blog for a couple of months now and I wanted to fill you in on all of our studio happenings here! During the winter months, we take the time to catch up on all of the projects and ideas that go on the back burner during our busy wedding season. We also take this time to pursue new work and push our businesses forward. As many of you know, weddings are just a portion of the work that I photograph. All year round, our staff stays busy supporting the commercial + editorial side of the business and I am SO happy to announce that we have launched the new website for This project has needed to happen for a couple of years now and it feels SO great to have a new, clean home for that body of work! I encourage you all to check it out! Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 1.17.14 PM

Additionally, we have been spending a lot of time pumping up our sister company, Rivets and Roses! This season, we hired 3 new photographers, rounding out that studio to 6 talented artists. I am in awe of the work that they produce on a daily basis and I couldn't be more proud of the group we currently have for this brand. For those of you who are new to Rivets and Roses, this brand is a wedding photography studio in which I have hand picked our artists to be a part of. All of our photographers shoot different kinds of work on their own and come to the Rivets studio to photograph weddings! They are not just talented, they are wildly talented. If you are a couple looking for a great wedding photography experience, I encourage you to check them out! Collections begin at $2800. Below are some of our latest happenings on the @rivetsandroses instagram account!

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As we move forward with our 2015 wedding season for Photogen Inc, I couldn't be more excited for all of our couples getting married this year! Stay tuned to see all of the great weddings to come!




Anne Kristine Lingerie!!

This blog post is specifically for all of you lovely brides-to-be!On the commercial side of things, we just finished photographing a campaign for Anne Kristine Lingerie, which is a new line - specifically made for brides on their wedding night!These pieces are super cute and I just love the idea of purchasing a special-little-something for your wedding night! They are soft, feminine and the fabric feels like heaven - it's the perfect blend to make you feel super sexy! Take a moment to check out the new Anne Kristine Lingerie site!

And to see behind-the-scenes footage from the shoot, click here!

Congratulations to Annie on the launch of her new line!LOVEe

What We've Been Up To!

Hey everyone! I know, I've been a little M.I.A. on the blog lately - we have so many exciting things coming up and changes happening, before our 2011 wedding season begins in just a few short weeks! We are getting ready to move into a new studio (can you believe it's been 3 years that we have been in our current studio?!?!) and we have also been doing some AMAZINGLY cool things on the commercial/editorial side of things!

I absolutely LOVE the balance between weddings and commercial work - it is absolutely perfect for me! This winter has been all about inventing - and re-inventing new work for my book and I couldn't be more thrilled with how everything is shaping up! Make sure to stop by the ELIESA blog to see all of the cool-new-things we have been creating!

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Our calendar is filled with some amazing engagements and weddings coming up this spring, so make sure to stay tuned for some stellar photos soon!

Hope you are all enjoying the warm(er) weather!


ELIESA has Launched!!!!

I can't believe it is finally here! I am SO proud and excited to launch Eliesa, my new commercial brand!

I really started this process about 1 year 1/2 ago. I knew that I wanted to really pump up my commercial & editorial presence in the photography world and also start shooting for some bigger clients. Throughout this process I have met with Agents, had portfolio reviews, etc. to really get a good grasp on what, exactly, I needed to do to take everything to the next level AND be successful at it. The #1 piece of consistent advice that I received was to separate my commercial work from weddings...totally and completely.

Truth be told, the commercial and editorial photography is an entirely different world from weddings. I love this world and I know that so much of me belongs here as well! I'm excited to really dive into this realm and discover and grow as a photographer. I'm so ready to take on bigger shoots, better fashion, glossy-er magazine covers, you name it! :0) With this being said, I'm prepared to start from ground zero. I'm ready to pound the pavement again and see what doors might open!

A common question that I am getting is, "Eliesa, are you going to move away from weddings?" and the answer is absolutely no. I love photographing weddings and being a part of the wedding industry! I didn't begin my photography career as a wedding photographer at all, and I've always been shooting commercially. I'm just really ready to take things to a BIG EXCITING new place and to do that, I felt that it was absolutely necessary to keep these two worlds separate!

So, from now on, all things Photogen Inc + Wedding posts will be on this blog and any and all things Commercial + Editorial related will be on the new Eliesa blog!

Here's the direct info to add to your RSS feed:

Website: Blog: Twitter: @eliesajohnson

I love absolutely everything about this brand! Aurora, once again, did an amazing job with bringing my vision (or lack there of for a while :0) to life! The brand is based around my signature and my name. Both of these are bold, unique, and a little bit sassy. It's a simple brand, with a whole lot of GLAM that is going to shine through in all of the portfolios, cards and leave behinds we will be sending out! I'll be blogging about this whole experience, so make sure to check out the Eliesa blog for all of those updates!

Without further adieu, I introduce to you....ELIESA

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Thank you so much for checking it out!


The Modern Day Man!!

Hell yeah, this feels so good! We are right on the verge of launching the new commercial brand, Eliesa, in just a couple weeks! Absolutely everything is coming together perfectly, including the test shoots we've been pumping out! The latest one is just WAY too awesome not to show you!

I wanted to shoot menswear, and I was fortunate enough for Len Druskin to pull all of my looks for the shoot! In my opinion, they have some of the best menswear in the cities, so I was super excited to have such awesome attire to work with! I wanted this shoot to be striking and strong, along with having an energy to the photos that you just couldn't look away from.

We fuckin' nailed it! Annnnd, this little test shoot is getting a little bit of publicity already! Mary O'Regan, fashion editor of Metro Magazine, blogged a fantastic little review about it...make sure to check it out here!

Enough talking, may I present to you, the MAN shoot!

A HUGE thank you to my amazing team for this shoot!

Clothes: Len Druskin Man Styling: Erick DeLeon Talent: Mitch Kelly, freelance and Noah Duncanson of Ignite Models Hair: Micah Savage Makeup: Margo Gordon Production: Liz Hardt Assistant: Spencer Combs


North American Hairstyling Awards: NOMINATION!!!!!!!!

Ohmygosh, ohmygosh, ohmygosh, ohmyGOD! Last night, while hosting a BBQ for some awesome photographers, I received a call from the OH-so-fabulous Faatemah. I knew when I saw her calling that this was going to be good news, but I had NO idea how good!

Big Risk = ENORMOUS Awards!!

This past year, I really, REALLY, wanted to do a high-fashion shoot for Minneapolis and finally convinced the crew at Metro Magazine that I could pull this off. They believed in my and my mad skillz, which was awesome, but I also felt like I had a lot to prove with this opportunity. When I sat down with the editors and art directors, we made it clear that we only wanted to work with the best of the best. Faatemah was our first and only option for hair, but this girl was BLOWING UP, so we didn't quite know if she had time for our shoot. I was prepared to make it worth her time and she came to us and said she would love to collaborate on this shoot, but it must be good enough to enter and win the North American Hair Styling Awards (NAHA).

What is NAHA?

The North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA) is the most prestigious photographic beauty competition in North America, celebrating the artistry and skill of the professional salon industry. Each year, individuals are recognized in 13 categories of excellence during a star-studded awards ceremony. NAHA is part of PBA Beauty Week, North America's largest, most inclusive beauty event, offering unlimited networking, education, and professional growth opportunities to all sectors of the beauty industry. PBA Beauty Week is produced by the Professional Beauty Association and is held in cooperation with Cosmoprof North America.

The judges take into consideration the following:

Concept or overall creative approach

Art direction and composition

Demonstration of skill in the execution of style, make-up and appropriate wardrobe

Harmony between photographer's execution and stylist's creativity

Appropriateness of image for concept

Technical ability corresponding to category entered

Continuity of all images within the entry

Appropriate use of lighting highlighting details

It's the Grammy's of Hair.


This is SO cool, for so many reasons, but I think the coolest of them all is that it is a true testament to the level of professionalism and talent from both the hair stylist and photographer. The hair has to be rockin', and the photography has to rock even more to effectively show the full potential of the hair. It's a unique marriage between artists that has to be dead on to win...and we did it!!

I can't even tell you guys how HUGH and AWESOME this is! Out of HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of entry's, we are at the TOP and that is one, amazing, feeling!!!

You can check out all of the Nominees in 13 different categories here and NAHA will announce an official winner of each category in July!

Special Thank-You to Faatemah - for being so awesome and pushing us to enter this! and the Staff at Metro for letting me live out this crazy dream that has CLEARLY been a great success on so many levels!

You can see Behind The Scene images from The Fine Lines shoot HERE!

The Final Layout: Fine Lines

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In the words of Faatemah, "Get ready girl, your world is about to change..."


Behind the Scenes: The Nautical Shoot!

Things are coming along! I'm currently in the process of pumping up my portfolio for the launch of the new commercial site this late spring/early fall! We are in the middle of an awesome re-brand, where we will be separating out the commercial & editorial work from Photogen Inc. weddings. I am super excited about this entire process and it's been incredible to continue the momentum with the business to make it bigger, better and stronger. I have been pushing my limits as an artist as well, trying to figure out and perfect, exactly what I want the new brand to be!

Along the way, I am doing test shoots about every 1-2 months. These are full on production shoots and I must say, I absolutely LOVE to collaboration process. The energy and vibe that goes on during a shoot is amazing and I honestly crave it. There is absolutely nothing better than working with people who are as passionate about their craft as I am about photography...and nothing but hands down, amazing work is created!

Yesterday, we photographed The Nautical shoot. This is a vision I've been dreaming up for some time now and I am SO excited about these images! I've decided, with each of these shoots, to share some behind-the-scenes images, along with a couple teasers. However, I'm going to try my hardest to not show the finished product until the new brand launches! Yes, It's going to be hella-hard for me to do this, but I want to stun you all with a kick ass new brand, new website and new me, it will be worth the wait!

A HUGE THANK YOU to my amazing crew:

Model: Caroline with Ignite Models, Inc. Hair: Micah of Moxie Salon Makeup: Margo Gordon Styling: Faith Brue Props: Stun Creativ Production: Liz Hardt Assisting: Jeffrey and Jacob

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SO much more to come from this!


Tara LaTour + Photogen Inc = The Shit!!!

I am soooooo excited to share these images with you! Like, little kid-jumping-up-and-down excited!A few weeks ago, I received an e-mail from a girl named Tara. In that letter, she asked me to photograph her final Collection for her graduate program at Parsons (yes, like project runway Parsons...only real students are even more bad-ass!) The hitch was that she was in NYC, I was in MPLS and her deadline was in a week and a half. She sent me a link with some cell-phone-shots of her dresses and my jaw dropped. I knew that I needed to do absolutely everything I could to photograph this amazing pieces of art! The universe came together for us and it just so happened I was going to be in NYC that coming weekend, so we started planning our last-minute shoot! The best part about my job is this sense of collaboration I get from working with other artists. It's amazing to just create with other amazing people who also have a vision. Tara really gave me free reign at the shoot and everything just simply fell into place! Before the day was done, I knew I wanted these images to be shared with the world and be published . 1) I wanted people to find/know/experience Tara and her beautiful collection. 2) I think these images are fucking amazing and I am way too excited about the whole project to NOT share this with you!

Through our conversations, I really began to respect Tara even more. She is on a mission to 'Revolutionize' the wedding industry and I absolutely believe she will do this!

A special THANK YOU to the Wedding Chicks for publishing this spread on their blog and sharing this with the world! Check out their review + Post HERE! (And we would love to hear your comments on the spread + designs overall!)

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Here's a look at all of our original spreads! Please head over to the Wedding Chicks blog to see more photos + behind-the-scenes sketches from Ms. LaTour!

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Here's to being remarkable!


Award Winning!!! Hell Yeah!

As I briefly stated in my previous blog post, I was super excited to find out that one of my prints had won in the 16x20 Print Competition in Las Vegas! I was incredibly excited, but then today I got the official results of all of my prints that were entered - and SURPRISE!!! Not one, but TWO of my prints were big winners! The two famous images are below and come from the fabulous Fine Lines shoot and the lovely Siegfried Wedding! Entering images in competitions is so much fun - and I also believe it is essential. It is most definitely a way to put yourself out there, and continually hold yourself accountable to creating solid, mind-blowing work. It's also very interesting to go out of your comfort zone and have judges critique your work, which is again, an essential part of growth for any artists!

Competitions can be a pretty penny to enter, and in the end, there is no guarantee that you will win. But I also think it is an investment in yourself as an artist. Not just in the cost of printing and actually entering, but an investment to your creative health. It feels so good to win...and without taking risks....I would never be AWARD winning! (For the 2nd year in a row...don't worry, I'm brushing my shoulder off right now! ;0)

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Calling All Models!

It's casting time!! I am looking for the perfect woman to be the face of my next big shoot!

I will be holding a casting call at the studio, next Monday, March 22nd, here are the details:

When: Monday, March 22nd Time: 3-5pm Where: Photogen Inc Studios 1400 Van Buren St NE #250 Mpls, 55413

Why: A stellar test shoot that is going to take place April 28th, 2010

We are looking for:

Female Any Race 5'9''-5'11'' 120-135lbs (Measurements are simply guidelines, not absolutes)

Models with experience are essential, there's no time for bullshit in this industry!

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If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me


Metro Magazine: February Issue!

The latest and greatest issue of Metro Magazine is fresh on the news stands! I had the pleasure of getting a quick sneak peek at this month's issue and I have to's a must read! It features a HILARIOUS, yet practical guide on to do everything!

Also check out our latest installment in Self Styled!

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Pick up your issue'll be happy you did!


The Keepers Issue!

The 2nd annual Keepers Awards are out in the January issue of Metro Magazine! The essence of this award is to honor 8 amazing artist (actors, musicians, dancers, etc) who are doing big things and that Minneapolis also wants to 'keep' in the city! When I got the assignment, I really wanted to focus on straight up portraits of these people. No bullshit, just a striking portrait. Take a peek at a preview of the article below + unpublished portraits of all the winners!

The Keepers are:

Brock Davis: Ad Man Taja Will: Dancer Monica Haller: Photographer / Writer Toki Wright: MC Randy Reyes: Actor Ethan Rutherford: Writer Max Lohrbach: Fashion Designer Mo Perry: Actor

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Check out the full issue on news stands now!!


December Issue of Metro Magazine!

The December issue of Metro Magazine is on news stands now!! I absolutely LOVE the cover, which was photographed by the always-awesome Tate Carlson! I think food should always look sexy and this man KNOWS exactly how to do that!

I am also super happy with the way this month's Self Styled article turned out! It features the lovely ladies of Black List Vintage!

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Keep buying magazines...or even better, gift some subscriptions for the holidays to keep the industry alive!!!


The NOVEMBER Issue Is here!!!

Oh. My. Gosh. I can not tell you how proud I am!!!! AND the sense of accomplishment I feel about THIS cover and THIS shoot! As you all know, Minneapolis isn't exactly the epicenter of high fashion. However, I have been wanting to show people in this city that you CAN purchase a $4000 jacket here if you want to! I also wanted to push the limits editorially in the city. A lot of the 'fashion' shoots that happen here are still very safe and catalog like to appeal to readers going out and buying the product. I wanted to break the boundaries of all that is 'sensible' for Minneapolis.

Now, Metro Magazine has been one of my clients for almost 3 years now and I have been lobbying for a shoot like this for just about that long! I was persistent about the idea - probably to the point of annoying some people - but I really REALLY wanted to do this! A couple months ago, I got the thumbs up and a DREAM team was assembled! Grant Whittaker is seriously the best stylist in town and he did a phenomenal job pulling looks (We had over $150,000 in clothes, shoes and accessories!), the award winning Faatemah built the wigs and the oh-so-fabulous Kumi rocked the makeup! And not to forget my fabulous crew who spent 5 hours testing lights with me the night before + a 13 hour shooting day....


I definitely felt some pressure on this shoot. To prove to the magazine that photos like this CAN fly in this market, to the public that you CAN shop like this and to myself that I CAN pull off an amazing shoot like this, that my team is strong enough - and shit, that you CAN make a dream come true!

So, ladies and gentleman...

Here is a preview...go buy the magazine!!!!! (It looks AMAZING in print!)

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BAHHHH!!!! So excited!

I hope you LOVE!